The Desk of the National President
As we approach the dawn of a New Year it gives me great pleasure to congratulate you for witnessing the end of the Year 2022. The past 3 years have tested the faith of the best of men with the devastation unleashed by the Covid 19 pandemic as well as other numerous natural and man-made disasters. We must therefore be grateful for the grace to be alive even as we commiserate with those who have lost loved ones and friends. May the souls of the departed find eternal rest with their Maker.
On Sunday 18th December 2022, you graciously conferred on me the leadership of our Association, by electing me as the 15th President of the University of Lagos Alumni Association. I am therefore delighted to address you for the first time as the President of our great Association. This is a huge honour especially considering that UNILAG Alumni Association has become the definition of what an Alumni Association should be. I commend the efforts of my predecessors starting from Dr. John Momoh, OON, Olorogun (Dr.) Sunny Kuku, Prof. Olaide Abass, Mr Adebowale Thompson plus those before them who strived with class, dignity, enthusiasm to elevate your Association to this enviable pedestal. We are grateful to them and their teams and assure you that we shall not drop the ball.
The landmark achievements recorded by the immediate past administration are well known to all of us. You will recall that the year was brought to a pleasant close with the commissioning of the iconic Prof. Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obo House owned by the Alumni Association and built through the sponsorship of Zenith Bank Plc. The Association also got its first bus that was bequeathed to it by the immediate past President, Dr. John Momoh, OON.
Beyond these physical developments, your Association witnessed tremendous growth in membership with vibrant new branches springing up in Nigeria and the diaspora. With the deft adoption of Alternative Dispute Resolution we are gradually resolving all disputes and the robust relationship between the University and the Association continue to soar. With the success of the e-voting method adopted in the election we again have something to teach the rest of the society in election organisation. All those who participated in the election will attest to its simplicity, fairness, and flawless execution. We should be proud of the Electoral Committee headed by our Past President Asiwaju (Dr.) Michael Olawale-Cole.
As we begin the New Year, our Administration will vigorously pursue the construction of the 500-bed capacity students hostel, the plan of which has reached an advanced stage. We propose to review the website to make it more interactive and user friendly. We shall regularly provide up-to-date information on the Association’s activities to encourage a robust and constant engagement with our stakeholders.
Although we have witnessed a steady increase in the numbers of active alumni, we shall intensify our membership drive to attain exponential growth through branch multiplication in Nigeria and diaspora.
In the outgoing year, the University of Lagos Governing Council appointed, for the first time in the 60 years of its existence, a female Vice-Chancellor, in the person of a distinguished academic with an enviable pedigree, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola. In the words of Dr. John Momoh, Prof. Ogunsola “assumes the role with competence and savoir-faire, antecedents and values that speak for her internationally, which many will envy our alma-matter for.” On behalf of all of you, I again congratulate her for this worthy milestone in her career and pray that the University will record greater successes under her leadership.
As you are all aware the rating of the University of Lagos continues to soar. This further confirms the reason why it has indeed become the University of first choice. We must continue to assist the University of Lagos to become one of the top 50 best Universities in the world. It is possible and together we can do it.
The height attained by the University of Lagos could not have been possible without the support of its Alumni. Although many units make up a vibrant University, the role of the Alumni is perhaps one of the most significant as it serves as the bridge between town and gown. The Alumni is the lifeblood of any great Institution. I therefore call on us, especially the fortunate ones to imbibe the intrinsic values of generosity, kindness, and philanthropy in our quest to make a huge impact on the world at large through our University.
Please permit me to reiterate the pledge I made in my acceptance speech after being sworn is as President, that the National Executive Committee shall continue in the tradition of transparency and accountability laid by our predecessors. We will work together with the University authority to fulfil the vision of its founders ably encapsulated in its motto: ‘IN DEED AND IN TRUTH’.
On behalf of the National Executive Committee, I wish you all a truly peaceful, and prosperous Year 2023. Happy New Year to you all.
IfeOluwa O. OYEDELE; FNSE, FNIEEE, FRMN